What is Biochemistry?

Biochemistry is the study of the chemistry of the living world. Biochemists study organisms at the molecular level in order to understand how they carry out life processes. In laboratory experiments, biochemists separate substances isolated from living cells, determine their chemical structures and properties. and then these substances are put back together under controlled conditions to find out how they interact.

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Explore the Possibilities in Biochemistry

Why is Biochemistry in the College of Ag?

Explores the basic molecular processes underpinning all life. Consequently, a degree in biochemistry prepares you to contribute to a variety of disciplines including medicine (human or animal), pharmacy, agriculture, and all other life-science fields. In Land Grant Universities like Purdue, Wisconsin, University of Missouri, etc., biochemistry is usually found in the College of Agriculture for historical reasons: the field of biochemistry grew out of research on agricultural problems, and since Land Grant Universities were the institutions with agriculture, departments of biochemistry were situated in those colleges.

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The Biochemistry Department awards scholarships annually to continuing undergraduate students in the department from several scholarship funds. Additionally, our students qualify for various scholarships at the College and University levels. Over 40% of our students are currently receiving scholarships from the College.

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A degree in biochemistry provides an excellent foundation for professional success in a wide variety of disciplines. Many of our graduates go on to obtain professional degrees from medical schools or veterinary schools, which highly value the molecular expertise provided by biochemistry coursework. Other graduates pursue further degrees such as a Masters or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) to be competitive for specialized careers in industry or to teach and/or do research in an academic setting such as a university. Another popular option for our graduates is to immediately accept a job in the industry. 

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The Purdue Biochemistry Club meets every two weeks to explore various aspects of the field through visiting speakers from a variety of backgrounds. Past speakers have included Purdue professors, graduate students, doctors, biochemists who work in industry, and many others!

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Find science program opportunities available for undergraduate research experiences.    

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Konstantin is a research and development scientist with EnvrioLogix in Portland, Maine, and Yoder is a rising senior biochemistry student at Purdue University.
Cultivating the Future: Bryn Yoder

Mary Konstantin gets misty-eyed in the middle of a lab, beakers bubbling away in the background,...

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Nathan Tuchscherer in front of Cincinnati Childrens hospital
Cultivating the Future: Nathan Tuchscherer

Nathan Tuchscherer, a rising senior in the College of Agriculture’s biochemistry department...

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Student Madelyn Pierce poses with a red soil probe and yellow bucket in front of a tall, green field of corn
Cultivating the Future: Madelyn Pierce

At home, Madelyn Pierce is surrounded by houseplants. At work, she was surrounded by corn and...

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Students gather at Purdue Summer Science Program on campus at Purdue
Donation takes Summer Science Program to the next level

If you’re on Purdue’s campus in the summer, you may notice a group of students...

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Contact Us 

Department of Biochemistry
Purdue University
175 South University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2063
Fax: 765-494-7897